How to Read & Customize IIS Log Files

Internet Information Services (IIS) uses a highly efficient and flexible logging architecture. When an event is logged, it uses the relevant logging module. You can use the log files to analyze a wide range of issues, along with the demographics and usage of the IIS. So, knowing to read and customize them is really significant. In this article, you will find the ways of doing it. You will also know the way of finding the log files. Now, assuming you have windows web hosting set up with IIS, let’s dive in.

How to Find IIS Log Files

If you need to see the location of your log files, you will have to follow these steps:

  1. Head to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools.
  2. Run Internet Information Services (IIS).
  3. Find your website in the left-hand tree menu. Take the note of your site’s ID.
  4. Now, click on your site. Then double click on the Logging icon. The logging settings screen will be opened.

How to Read & Customize IIS Log Files

  1. Go to the bottom of the logging settings screen. You will find a box, which contains the path to your logging files.

How to Read & Customize IIS Log Files

How to Read IIS Log Files

There are various software for reading IIS log files, including Log Parser 2.2 and Log Parser Studio. Log Parser 2.2 doesn’t have any UI. So, it often becomes difficult and challenging for most of the users. On the other hand, there is no issue with Log Parser Studio. It comes with a simple, but effective UI. So, you will face no trouble using it. Here, you will find the steps for reading IIS log files with Log Parser Studio.

How to Read IIS Log Files with Log Parser Studio

  1. Launch Log Parser Studio.
  2. Head to File > New Query.
  3. Click on the Open icon and select your log files.
  4. Select the log type as IISW3CLOG.
  5. Now, you can query your log files. Here is a basic example of doing it:
SELECT TOP 1000 *
FROM'[LOGFILEPATH]' 
ORDERBYtime-taken

Log Parser is an extremely powerful tool. You can use it to export the log data as CSV files. You can use them in MS Excel or other software.

How to Customize IIS Log Files

There are several settings in the IIS Manager console, which you can use to customize IIS log files. You can determine the way of log file rollover. It will enable you to determine whether the files are created on an hourly or a weekly basis.

You also have the ability to customize the logged fields. You can either remove the unnecessary fields or create your own ones. You just need to utilize W3C logging fields. You can find them by clicking Select Fields button besides Format selection option.

Conclusion

In this article, you have learned to find the location of the IIS log files. You have also learned to use Parser Studio for reading them. Now, you are capable of performing all sorts of analysis related to IIS effectively.

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